Council is rushing to fix a blocked pipe running under an embankment behind homes in West Wollongong before it's too late and the area floods.
The situation needs to be fixed so urgently that councillors have voted at Monday night's meeting to skip the usual tendering process in favour of finding a company who can fix it now.
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Leave it too long and the embankment could collapse, causing localised flooding and road closures.
"The risk of the project works is considered high," council papers stated.
"This is based on the risk of embankment failure or localised flooding during heavy rainfall events until the stormwater drainage works are completed."
But first they'll need to find out exactly where the pipe is.
The problem is with an underground pipe and embankment at the end of Keira Mine Road, at the entrance to Keira Oval and the rear access to Edmund Rice College.
They run under the road and head north along the rear fences of homes in Burradool Street.
After heavy rain late last year there were reports about the failure of the embankment.
Extensive work at the site failed to locate the position of the pipes underground.
"A search of council records indicated the pipeline was laid over a number of years stretching from pre-1961 to early 1970s within a deeply incised channel (subsequently infilled) now approximately five metres below current ground levels," council papers stated.
"The location of the pipeline on these records is shown diagrammatically and is unable to be located accurately by survey."
Through the use of closed circuit TV cameras inserted upstream, council officers found the pipe was completely blocked.
They saw the need to fix it as so urgent that council's usual tender process needed to be skipped.
"It is proposed to commence the investigation works as soon as possible while programming the culvert works underneath the roadway (if possible) in the school summer holiday period commencing December 17, 2021 to minimise disruption to the school and users of Keira Oval," the paper stated.
"This is a challenging program that requires minimal delay in all aspects of the planning process including the procurement phase."
Entering into a tender process would take at least three months from the time it begins, meaning the work could not be completed during the summer holidays.
Instead, council has delegated the general manager to get quotes from several contractors and choose one to undertake the work.